Four more fires broke out today at the industrial park where the Tianjin explosion occurred on August 12th. One fire was reported to have occurred in a logistics site for vehicles, and the other three fires were reported within the central blast area.
Also reported today was an increase to the death toll, which has now reached 116, with 60 people still missing.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.8% in July, following a revised drop of 0.4% during June. In July, the index equaled 135.0 (2000=100), the second highest level on record. The all-time high of 135.8 was reached in January 2015.
MIQ Logistics has been providing updates on the logistics situation in Tianjin, since the explosion occurred last Wednesday, August 12th. The latest reports indicate that 114 people were killed in the blast, including 39 firefighters. As of this morning at least 70 people remain unaccounted for, and at least 700 have sustained injuries from the explosion. There are additional reports regarding the concerns around both air and water contamination near the site.
In the 36 hours since MIQ’s last Supply Chain Alert, there have been many new details surfacing in the aftermath of the Tianjin explosion. While there are many details that are still unknown, MIQ Logistics would like to report to you what we do know at this time.
North American shipment volumes and their related costs both trailed downward in July, keeping in line with the seasonal patterns of the last five years. July is traditionally a slow month for freight as it lies between the surges of back‐to‐school and the holidays. Although both indexes are below last year’s levels at this time, they compare quite favorably with prior years. There should be an element of caution when comparing 2015 results to 2014 since last year was the best year the freight sector has experienced since the recession.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, fell 0.3 percent in June from May, falling after a single month of growth, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS). The June 2015 index level (121.9) was 28.8 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
A large explosion took place at 11:30 p.m. local time in the port city of Tianjin, located in Northern China. According to state-run Xinhua news, the explosion originated in a container warehouse that was storing “dangerous goods” in the Binhai District of Tianjin. Reports from Xinhau news have indicated that the initial explosion led to further damage to nearby companies.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 3.6 percent this month over the same time last year as retailers begin to bring in merchandise for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Imports for the year are expected to be up 4.2 percent over 2014.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services, and financial activities.
In July, both the unemployment rate (5.3 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.3 million) were unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.9 percentage point and 1.4 million, respectively.